Bentley's Grill | Salem Oregon Restaurant | Ladies Night | Wine Bar

Bentley's Grill Salem Current Events

Posts Tagged ‘Wine Notes’

Best Of Mark’s Wine Tips: A Decanter Is Your Friend

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

For the past 4 years, Bentley’s Grill guests have benefited from the expertise of our Wine Steward, Mark Jacklich.

 Mark is exceptionally familiar with the winemaking process and grape varitials through his studies with the Court of Master Sommeliers.  He has also spent a great deal of time studying the wine making process at local vineyards and even working with Jim Bernau’s team at Willamette Valley Vineyards.  

Mark happily shares his knowledge and recommendations with anyone who asks and writes a series of posts for our blog we like to call “Wine Notes with Mark“.  We have assembled some of his best tips and recommendations to help you get the most out of your wine tasting experience in a new “Best Of” series.  

photo credit: © RAW 2013 via photopin (license)

Letting wine breathe, decant, or aerate is simply allowing your wine to be exposed to the surrounding air.  As a good rule of thumb, most wines need a good 15 minutes to let them show their character.  By allowing wine to mix and mingle with the air, the wine will “open up” and the wine’s aroma will be more present.

A decanter’s main purpose is to allow a wine to have more contact with air while reducing the amounts of sediment that make it into a glass.  The result is a softer and more mellow flavor profile and the overall flavor characteristics should improve.

While red wines typically benefit more than whites from this process,  Mark says there are a few whites that can evolve when allowed to open up (mainly Chardonnay).  He frequently recommends ordering a white wine as a starter to our guests and a big bodied Cabernet at the same time. “While the guests are enjoying the light, refreshing starter, the other will be opened, decanted, and ready by the time dinner is served,” he says. “Some believe that simply pulling the cork on a bottle is enough, but with the limited amount of wine-surface to air, a decanter can be your best friend.”

DIY Decanting at home

If you don’t have a decanter, a juice pitcher will work just as well.  You can also look into using smaller decanting tools such as a decanting pour spout or a table top decanter that you pour the wine through and into the glass. These achieve similar effects by allowing the wine to swirl and breathe before even hitting the glass. There is a type of glass on the market now that has an aerator directly in the middle of the glass that you pour your wine into and (if you have good aim) will get your wine opened nicely.

photo credit: デキャンティングポーラー via photopin (license)

Decanting Young Bottles

If you have a young wine that has a high level of tannins such as Cabernet and Merlot, Mark recommends decanting for at least 30-45 minutes before it starts giving you it’s best.  In some cases, young bottles can benefit from a bit longer in the decanter (an hour or two). You can also decant on a smaller level with a Pinot Noir glass that has plenty of room and capacity to accommodate‎ a good swirl.

Decanting Mature Bottles

Around thirty minutes is plenty of time for a mature bottle to open up; any longer could compromise its integrity. When working with an older bottle or one you know has a fair amount of sediment, it is crucial to try to keep any sediment undisturbed while removing the cork. This can be done with a steady hand or with the help of a decanting basket.

After removing the cork it is key to wipe out any sediment that has accumulated in the neck of the bottle where the cork was. Before you get to pouring, Mark says a light source should be placed behind the bottle so you can eye the neck of the bottle for sediment. A flashlight or a candle would be sufficient. Stop as soon as you see any small particles or the wine becoming cloudy in the neck. It is common for there to be an ounce or two left in the bottle.

If you have more questions about decanting or any other wine recommendations, ask for Mark next time you come to Bentley’s Grill and he will be happy to help you. Till then, Cheers!


Try Our New Dessert Wines for a Sweet Surprise!

Tuesday, June 25th, 2013

By Mark Jacklich

Bentley’s Grill Wine Steward Mark Jacklich shares his recommendations and thoughts in his series:   Wine Notes with Mark. Enjoy!

Bentley's Grill Dessert

This week I will be highlighting three new additions to our dessert menu. They are all from our great state of Oregon and each can enhance your dining experience by complimenting our desserts or acting as dessert on their own.

First up is Del Rio’s 2006 Syrah Port.

While sold out at the winery I was able to stash some bottles away for the enjoyment of our patrons. This is truly an unique and sophisticated Syrah Port. Rich with blackberry, dark cherry fruit and a light oak touch.Our port has deep flavors that come forward followed by a lingering Syrah finish. The flavor profile would compliment our Currant Bread Pudding with ease.

Next is Seven of Hearts 2011 Pinot Noir port “Coupe’s Cuvee”

Now in the fourth vintage of this unique port-style Pinot noir, this version of Coupe’s Cuvée is the deepest and richest yet, but still showing a finesse that is uncharacteristic of Port, but ultimately what makes this a pinot noir first, and a dessert wine second. At 6% residual sugar, it is enough to balance with the acidity, but not so much as to overwhelm the expression of the fruit. The approach to production of this was a traditional port method using brandy distilled from pinot noir.

Lastly, Ancient Cellars Marionberry Dessert Wine

This non-vintage dessert wine boasts our unofficial state berry in a light dryer style. Rich aromas of mixed berry jam and bubble gum radiate from the glass along with the brilliant ruby color. the abundant flavors of marionberry pie leave little doubt of the wines origin. the berry flavors are accented by hints of toasted wood and vanilla from partial barrel aging.
If your in the mood for desert but want something less filling with out sacrificing flavor, here are some good options for you on your next visit in.

Wine Notes From Mark: Rosé is the Perfect Summer Wine

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Bentley’s Grill Wine Steward Mark Jacklich is continuing his studies with the Court of Master Sommeliers through 2012. In addition, he plans to spend a lot of time working with Jim Bernau’s team at Willamette Valley Vineyards and learn more about the process from grapes to wine full circle. Mark is eager to share his knowledge with you in an educational series we call: Wine Notes with Mark. Enjoy!

My personal favorite summer wine is a rosé. While they are made from red wine grapes, the limited skin contact with the juice imparts a pink hue and gives off light and bright flavors that are hallmarks of summer.

From the light strawberry, watermelon and cherry flavors, a rosé is typically a lighter expression of the grapes of which it was pressed from. Some believe that some blending may have occurred between white wine and red wine to get rosé. While this is very uncommon and often frowned upon, this does occur in sparkling wines frequently.

When rosé is produced by from the by-product of secondary fermentation it is called the Saignée Method (from French “Bleeding”). When a winemaker wants to impart more tannin and color to a red wine, some of the pink juice from the must can be removed at an early stage.

The red wine remaining in the vats is intensified as a result of the bleeding, because the volume of juice in the must is reduced, and the must involved in the maceration is concentrated. The pink juice that is removed can be fermented separately to produce rosé.

In the 1970s demand for white wine exceeded the availability of white wine grapes, so many California producers made “white” wine from red grapes, in a form of saignée production with minimal skin contact, the “whiter” the better. In 1975, Sutter Home’s “White Zinfandel” wine experienced a stuck fermentation, a problem in which the yeast dies off before all the sugar is turned to alcohol. Winemaker Bob Trinchero put it aside for two weeks, then upon tasting it he decided to sell this pinker, sweeter wine.

There is little difference from a rosé to a “blush”. The Term Blush is generally restricted to wines sold in North America. Although “blush” originally referred to a color (pale pink), it now tends to indicate a relatively sweet pink wine, typically with 2.5% residual sugar. In North America dry pink wines are usually marketed as rosé but sometimes as blush. In Europe, almost all pink wines are referred to as rosé regardless of sugar levels, even semi-sweet ones from California.

A Couple of my favorites Include Trinity Vineyards 2010 Estate Rosé, and Anam Caras 2011 Nicholas Estate Rosé from the Chehalem Mountains AVA. Both made from the pinot noir grape, and both available by the bottle here at Bentley’s Grill.

Wine Notes with Mark- How to Properly Open a Bottle of Champagne

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Bentley’s Grill Wine Steward Mark Jacklich is continuing his studies with the Court of Master Sommeliers through 2012. In addition, he plans to spend a lot of time working with Jim Bernau’s team at Willamette Valley Vineyards and learn more about the process from grapes to wine full circle. Mark is eager to share his knowledge with you in an educational series we call: Wine Notes with Mark. Enjoy!

Poppin Bottles is a slang term that relates to the act of taking Champagne bottles, shaking them up, popping them violently and shooting the cork across the room. This is accompanied by a fountain of foam and the danger of a cork traveling around 50mph. While this can look “fun”,  this is not the ideal way to open a champagne bottle. Shaking the bottle causes excessive bubbles, leaving the wine flat. Also, you can lose anywhere from 1/4 to more than 1/2 of the bottle in the foam that shoots out.

There is also a technique called Sabering where you take a large blade and run it up the side of the bottle with force to the lip of the bottle. With the pressure built up in the bottle and the force of the blade to the neck, this creates a grand display with the bottle being decapitated and a portion of champagne spilling out.

To properly open a bottle of champagne,

  • Remove the foil and place your hand over the cage
  • Twist the cage free and loosen it around the neck
  • While still in control of the cage, slowly twist the bottle and pull out the cork (the pressure in bottle will start to help you about half-way through)
  • When it feels as if the cork is ready to shoot, apply pressure back towards the bottle until a small hissing sound is heard.

Though this technique is not as “celebratory”, it sure is safer. It also maintains the appropriate carbonation in the wine and prevents the loss of your precious liquid! Some choose to pull out the cork just fast enough to make a bit of a pop noise but without causing excessive foaming and loss of wine. The choice is yours, but if serving it in an elegant way is your goal, then go slow!

Wine Notes With Mark: Yes, Stemware Makes a Difference

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

Bentley’s Grill Wine Steward Mark Jacklich is continuing his studies with the Court of Master Sommeliers through 2012. In addition, he plans to spend a lot of time working with Jim Bernau’s team at Willamette Valley Vineyards and learn more about the process from grapes to wine full circle. Mark is eager to share his knowledge with you in an educational series we call: Wine Notes with Mark. Enjoy!

“So why do you put that wine into that glass?”

This is a question I get asked at least once or twice a week. The short answer is that different wine is best expressed by specific designs of glassware. For champagne and sparkling wines, a “Flute” is best with it’s slender shape and reduced surface area, which allows for more bubbles to stay intact for consumption.

For our red wine stemware we have two different styles, Pinot Noir and Bordeaux. The Pinot glass has a large bowl to aide in a healthy swirl and to accentuate the aromas of Pinot Noir varietals. The shape of the opening allows for the wine to be directed to the tip of the tongue for the taster to get the most out of this delicate grape. The Bordeaux glass is tall with a smaller bowl than the Pinot glass. This style is best suited for bigger, fuller bodied wines such as Cabernet, Merlot, and Syrah. It’s mouth opening directs wine towards the back of the tongue where taste buds better suit the flavors of these heavier reds. With both styles, the aim is to allow more oxygen in to help ‘open up’ the wines. This helps showcase the nuances that wines have when allowed to breathe.

With white wine it depends on the style and varietal much like red wine. With Chardonnay, a bigger, shorter bowl is best to promote the rapid oxidization of its full flavors and oaked characteristics. For lighter, fresher styles of white wine like Pinot Gris and Riesling, oxidization is less desirable as it masks the delicate nuances of the wine. To keep the crisp clean flavors many white wine glasses have smaller openings with the same idea of the champagne flute, which is to reduce surface area and in turn, the rate of oxidation.

Here at Bentleys we have Riedel brand stemware, which is made from Austrian and German crystal and is highly regarded as the best stemware on the market.

So next time you’re enjoying a glass of wine, whether at home or at Bentley’s, see if you can tell the difference!